A CAMPAIGN for Bendigo residents to reconnect with local businesses and organisations will proceed as planned, despite the risk of a second peak in COVID-19 cases in Victoria.
Bendigo mayor Margaret O'Rourke said promoting social distancing and hand hygiene had always been a part of the Love Your Local campaign, which launched on June 5.
Restrictions were starting to ease about that time.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced new restrictions at the weekend, after confirmed cases of COVID-19 increased by double figures for several consecutive days.
Victoria's Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton, said the state was "absolutely at risk of a second peak".
"But we can get on top of it," he said.
Several COVID-19 hot spots were identified, all of which were in Melbourne.
No new or active cases were detected in the Bendigo area in that time.
Cr O'Rourke said restrictions had tightened regarding how many visitors people could bring into their homes.
But she said the number of people allowed in some businesses, such as restaurants and cafes, had not changed.
Other businesses had been given the go-ahead to open for the first time since restrictions were imposed, though the full suite of changes planned for June 22 was postponed.
Cr O'Rourke said some of the elements to be considered when Love Your Local launched were still in play.
She believed the campaign was important and there was still a lot that could be done with it.
The concept aimed to encourage residents to show their local businesses and community groups some love, while being responsible around health messaging.
A 'Love Your Local challenge' issued as part of the campaign called on residents to help the local economy bounce back after COVID-19 by supporting local small businesses.
Story continues below Love Your Local challenge checklist
Suggestions include buying a coffee, getting a haircut, meeting a friend for brunch, making a dinner reservation, buying flowers for a loved one, getting a boat or bike serviced, updating your wardrobe, buying a birthday present, visiting your favourite pub, cooking using local produce, and buying a gym membership.
Cr O'Rourke acknowledged when the campaign launched that there were many in the community that were doing it tough.
"This campaign is trying to touch everyone in however they can afford to do that or however socially they want to do that," she said at the time.
"This is not about pushing people to get out if they still feel anxious, as well. It's making sure they just get connected with who's important to them."
Cr O'Rourke today said adherence to distancing and hand hygiene had been key to managing COVID-19 case numbers in regional cities.
She said maintaining vigilance around distancing and hand hygiene was important, irrespective of what happened with restrictions.
"We've got to make sure people aren't complacent," Cr O'Rourke said.